Brett Thomas has denied the sexual harassment claims in court.
Brett Thomas has denied the sexual harassment claims in court.

‘Threesome’ boss had sex next to me, ex-staffer claims

A MILLIONAIRE Queensland businessman and NRL sponsor has denied propositioning a junior staffer for a "threesome" several times, as the staffer has doubled-down on her sexual harassment claims in court.

Brett Thomas, managing director of Kingston-based TFH Hire Services (TFH), which last year sparked controversy with its backflip on its sponsorship of the Gold Coast Titans, has denied allegations by his then marketing manager, Ashleigh Lynette Martinovic, that he asked her for "threesomes" with his wife and another employee, on more than one occasion, according to recently-filed court documents.

The 52-year-old refutes claims he touched the 24-year-old on the buttocks in the office, more than once, made lewd comments to her during work meetings and slept with a co-worker on a business trip just metres from Ms Martinovic, according to documents filed in the Federal Court in Brisbane.

Brett Thomas and wife Mieke. Picture: Regina King
Brett Thomas and wife Mieke. Picture: Regina King

He also denies sexually harassing Ms Martinovic, who is suing Mr Thomas and two companies for $815,793, claims the persistent sexual harassment continued over 15 months and has left her unable to work.

Ms Martinovic states in court documents that she could hear Mr Thomas and a female staffer having sex on the bed beside her while staying at the Novotel Hotel in Manly for a Gold Coast Titans vs. Manly Sea Eagles NRL match on August 17, 2018.

Ms Martinovic says in documents filed at court that she told the woman the next day: "I don't know how to bring this up but I saw everything last night". Mr Thomas and his company deny this confrontation ever occurred.

Ashleigh Martinovic says she has been unable to work since leaving TFH.
Ashleigh Martinovic says she has been unable to work since leaving TFH.

In Mr Thomas's defence filed at the court, Mr Thomas admits he shared a bed with the employee, but argues they remained fully clothed and says "no kissing" or sexual contact occurred.

He argues the staffer invited him to share her bed "platonically" after he was locked out of his hotel room he was sharing with his dad Owen, following drinks on the girls' balcony.

Mr Thomas argues Ms Martinovic "took deliberate steps" to "conceal" that she was awake from Mr Thomas and the staffer, claims Ms Martinovic denies.

Mr Thomas has denied multiple alleged sexual harassment incidents claimed by Ms Martinovic, in his defence filing in December, but last month she responded by doubling-down on her claims in further court documents and refuting his denials by adding further details, requested by Mr Thomas's lawyers.

Full details of the claims have been filed in court ahead of a court-ordered mediation in Brisbane on Thursday.

Ms Martinovic alleges in the documents that when Mr Thomas asked her for a threesome with his wife, Mieke Thomas, while the trio were in a taxi to their hotel after an industry dinner in Sydney on May 11, 2017, by saying "how fun it would be if we had a threesome" she responded "I am the same age as your daughter, no!".

TFH Hire Services have denied they are liable for the harassment claims.
TFH Hire Services have denied they are liable for the harassment claims.

She alleges Mr Thomas later said to her that "age is nothing but a number" and "my wife and I would like to have fun with you" when she worked for him.

She alleges she rebuffed his threesome advances on another occasion by saying "no I respect myself, I respect my boyfriend, I said no".

Ms Martinovic also alleges Mr Thomas suggested a threesome during a hotel stay after an awards dinner on September 13, 2017, by saying to his wife "we should sleep in here with the girls" and "we should all hook up". He denies the claims.

Ms Martinovic claims that when Mr Thomas was proposing threesomes, Mieke Thomas remained silent and did not rebuke him, court documents state.

The companies also named in the suit, TFH Hire Services (TFH) and Black Listed Collections Pty Ltd, deny they are liable for the harassment claims because they argue Mr Thomas didn't harass Ms Martinovic, he was not an employee at the time, and the alleged acts did not occur at work.

Mr Thomas denies he was ever Ms Martinovic's direct boss, arguing his sister Leesa Gill, and later his brother Daniel Thomas, were her supervisors.